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What's cancelled, What's returning


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#21
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Courtesy of: TV GUIDE, SPECIAL

New Shows

premiere dates
mid-season tv schedule


In Justice
Premiere: Sunday, Jan. 1, 10 pm/ET, ABC
Kyle MacLachlan plays a hotshot corporate lawyer who, wanting to give something back to the community (or maybe just fuel his political ambitions), founds the National Justice Project, which takes on cases of the wrongly convicted. Grainy black-and-white crime-scene flashbacks reveal the real story. Jason O'Mara is the true-believing ex-cop who runs the operation, while Rebecca Pidgeon plays his ex, a stiff-backed prosecutor. (After its premiere, the show will air Fridays at 9 pm/ET.)


Four Kings
Premiere: Thursday, Jan. 5, 8:30 pm/ET, NBC
Will & Grace masterminds David Kohan and Max Mutchnick tell the story of four childhood friends who wind up living together when one of them inherits a sprawling Manhattan apartment. Presumably, wackiness (and life lessons) will ensue, thanks in part to star Seth Green.


The Book of Daniel
Premiere: Friday, Jan. 6, 9 pm/ET, NBC
Oh, lord! In this busy family tableau, Aidan Quinn stars as Daniel Webster husband, dad, Episcopalian minister... and Vicodin addict. The Websters are so religious that they sing grace at dinner. But don't worry, this isn't some 7th Heaven retread. There's also a gay son, sexual assault and the embezzlement of church funds - and that's just in the first hour. (After its premiere, the show will air Fridays at 10 pm/ET.)


Emily's Reasons Why Not
Premiere: Monday, Jan. 9, 9 pm/ET, ABC
Heather Graham stars in this adaptation of Carrie Gerlach's novel, in which the titular heroine organizes her life around guidelines for avoiding bad choices, particularly in her relationships. There's a definite Sex and the City vibe to the show what with Emily's job in publishing, the thoughtful voice-over narration and her gay best friend but Graham's sheer effervescent charm may just be enough to set this series apart.


South Beach
Premiere: Wednesday, Jan. 11, 8 pm/ET, UPN
Two Brooklyn mooks, Vincent (Chris J. Johnson) and Matt (Marcus Coloma), find Miami's vices on full display when they leave the Big Apple behind to seek success and lost love, respectively, in the ultraglam epicenter of the Sunshine State. There, they'll find both romance and danger, of the organized-crime variety. Giancarlo Esposito and Vanessa Williams costar, while Jennifer Lopez coexecutive-produces.


Crumbs
Premiere: Thursday, Jan. 12, 9:30 pm/ET, ABC
Fred Savage (The Wonder Years) plays the Crumb clan's prodigal (and as yet uncloseted) son, who's returned home to Connecticut after a failed run at a Hollywood career. Waiting for him are his philandering dad (William Devane); his mom, a recently discharged psychiatric patient (Jane Curtin); and his brother (Eddie McClintock), who's been running the family business.


Love Monkey
Premiere: Tuesday, Jan. 17, 10 pm/ET, CBS
Inspired by a novel about four Manhattan men who trade tales of their dating experiences, this dramedy stars former Ed leading man Tom Cavanagh as a record-label rep who prowls the city's punkier precincts looking for America's Next Top Rock Star and his next love. Larenz Tate, ex-90210 heartthrob Jason Priestley and Christopher Wiehl provide him with moral support along the way.


Skating with Celebrities
Premiere: Wednesday, Jan. 18, 9 pm/ET, Fox
Taking the Dancing with the Stars concept to the cutting edge, this reality series pairs celebs Todd Bridges, Kristy Swanson, Deborah Gibson, Dave Coulier, Bruce Jenner and Jillian Barberie with professional figure skaters such as Nancy Kerrigan and Tai Babilonia for weekly competitions. Toe pick! (After its premiere, the show will air Mondays at 8 pm/ET.)


Courting Alex
Premiere: Monday, Jan. 23, 9:30 pm/ET, CBS
Jenna Elfman goes from hippy Dharma to yuppie Alex, a successful professional lass looking for love. Specifically, the title character's an up-and-coming attorney who litigates alongside her daddy, played by Dabney Coleman. The will-they-or-won't-they, could-be love interest? That'd be former Ed sidekick Josh Randall.


Get This Party Started
Premiere: Tuesday, Jan. 24, 9 pm/ET, UPN
In this reality series cohosted by Laguna Beach cutie Kristin Cavallari, pro party planners will help throw a lavish bash for a deserving guest of honor each week, sparing no expense to create extravagant events that feature hot nightspots and even hotter celebrity guests.

The Bedford Diaries
Premiere: To be announced, WB
From the executive producer of Homicide and Oz comes this look at another volatile institution: college. The drama's centered around a controversial seminar entitled "Sexual Behavior and the Human Condition," in which students videotape, in Real World-esque testimonials, their thoughts on various aspects of their boot-knocking lives. Former Gilmore Girls guy Milo Ventimiglia stars as the editor of the school newspaper, while Matthew Modine plays the seminar's no-nonsense professor.

Big Love
Premiere: To be announced, HBO
Tentatively scheduled to follow The Sopranos on Sundays beginning in March, this drama executive-produced by Tom Hanks revolves around a Mormon polygamist (Bill Paxton) and his three wives, played by Chloe Sevigny, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Ginnifer Goodwin.

Conviction
Premiere: To be announced, NBC
It wouldn't be a new mid-season without a Dick Wolf entry, now would it? Here the spotlight's on a group of young assistant district attorneys. Former Law & Order: SVU prosecutor Stephanie March leads the pack, which includes Eric Balfour, J. August Richards and Julianne Nicholson.

The Evidence
Premiere: To be announced, ABC
In this procedural crime drama from executive producer John Wells (ER, The West Wing), each hour opens with a recitation of items collected during a murder investigation, then rewinds to show how they got there. Nicky Katt (Boston Public) stars as a traumatized San Francisco detective newly returned to the force after his wife's still-unsolved murder. Academy Award winner Martin Landau costars.

Free Ride
Premiere: To be announced, Fox
In this heavily improvised comedy, Josh Dean plays a downwardly mobile twentysomething who moves back in with his folks in Missouri after attending college in California.

Knight School
Premiere: To be announced, ESPN
One of the most respected and notorious college-basketball coaches of all time, Texas Tech's Bob Knight finally gets his own reality show. He'll put walk-on players through their paces over six episodes to determine which one becomes part of his team.

The Loop
Premiere: To be announced, Fox
This fast, irreverent sitcom tells the story of a corporate wunderkind (Bret Harrison) who lives with two friends (one of whom is his lifelong crush) and a slacker brother in the Windy City. While working at an airline company, he must deal with a man-eating supervisor (Mimi Rogers) and a nutty, mercurial CEO (Philip Baker Hall).

The Miracle Workers
Premiere: To be announced, ABC
Avant-garde medicine comes to the rescue of the desperately ill in this unscripted series focusing on the afflicted and those close to them. Among the stories to be told will be the case of a boy born with fused ribs who is given the gift of titanium replacements, a father and son each battling cancer, and a grown man who regains his sight via a cutting-edge medical procedure and sees his family for the first time.

Misconceptions
Premiere: To be announced, WB
Frasier costar Jane Leeves returns to TV comedy as a Chicago museum curator and single mom who decides to seek out her 13-year-old daughter's test-tube daddy, only to discover that he's not a Yale-educated Olympian as advertised, but a loutish Joe Sixpack played by Adam Rothenberg. And now that she's found him, she can't get him out of her life. French Stewart (3rd Rock from the Sun) costars.

Modern Men
Premiere: To be announced, WB
Doctor Quinn (Jane Seymour) is back in the house, this time as a renowned life coach who's enlisted to help three single clueless guys weather the dating world and relate to career-minded, self-sufficient women. George Wendt (Norm!) costars as the old-fashioned dad of one of the guys.

The New Adventures of Old Christine
Premiere: To be announced, CBS
Julia Louis-Dreyfus takes her second crack at post-Seinfeld success as a single L.A. mom who chugs cough syrup and lives with her brother. She's managed to juggle child-rearing and work while maintaining a close relationship with her ex-hubby until he hooks up with a new, young girlfriend also named Christine.

Pepper Dennis
Premiere: To be announced, WB
Rebecca Romijn stars as a superconfident TV journalist in Chicago who finds herself undone, emotionally and professionally, by the station's handsome new anchorman (Josh Hopkins). Brooke Burns (North Shore) plays the spoiled little sister who lives and works with her.

Sons & Daughters
Premiere: To be announced, ABC
Relying on a cast partly taken from the short-lived 2004 sitcom Significant Others, this quirky single-camera comedy mixes improvised and scripted humor to take a look at a complex extended family that includes a seemingly happily married father of three (Fred Goss), his sister (Alison Quinn), their young stepsister and their parents (Dee Wallace-Stone and Max Gail), who have plenty of problems of their own.

Teachers
Premiere: To be announced, NBC
BBC television star Sarah Alexander (Coupling) makes her U.S. series debut in this ensemble comedy as a rookie teacher at a New Jersey public high school suffering from poor resources and apathetic students. Justin Bartha (National Treasure) costars as a put-upon teacher who plays by his own irreverent rules as he tries to reach through to the kids.

Thick & Thin
Premiere: To be announced, NBC
With Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels executive-producing and SNL and Mad TV writers in the fold, this comedy promises a smart, edgy take on a once-overweight woman (Jessica Capshaw) who's just lost 60 pounds yet finds that life doesn't automatically get better... partly because she can't get free of her off-the-wall parents (Martin Mull and Sharon Gless). SNL vet Chris Parnell plays a leotard-clad spokesman for a pool-and-spa business.

The Unit
Premiere: To be announced, CBS
David Mamet (Glengarry Glen Ross) and Shawn Ryan (The Shield) are behind this chronicle of a gung-ho covert Special Forces team. Dennis Haysbert and Robert Patrick are the old hands who show rookie Scott Foley the ropes. Expect the military jargon to fly, along with plenty of bullets.

What About Brian
Premiere: To be announced, ABC
Barry Watson (7th Heaven) plays the odd-man-out among a clutch of married Los Angelenos in this drama. And not only is he still single, but he's secretly in love with his best friend's wife (Sarah Lancaster) to boot. Rosanna Arquette plays his sister, while Lost/Alias mastermind J.J. Abrams serves as one of the executive producers.

Windfall
Premiere: To be announced, NBC
"Unearned money is the same as spilled blood," one observer darkly intones in this Lotto-fevered ensemble drama that follows the diverging paths of 20 friends (among them former 90210 pinup Luke Perry, ex-24 costar Sarah Wynter and Boomtown alums Lana Parilla and Jason Gedrick) after they share a whopping $360-million jackpot.

#22
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Courtesy of: TV GUIDE, SPECIAL

RETURNING SHOWS


Scrubs
Premiere: Tuesday, Jan. 3, 9 pm/ET, NBC
Fans of the delirious medical sitcom, which was passed over on the fall schedule despite having garnered an Emmy nod last season for outstanding comedy series, will finally get a cure for their blues, as NBC brings the series back in two-episode blocks each Tuesday. Expect to see Turk (Donald Faison) and Carla (Judy Reyes) weathering marriage and contemplating parenthood, J.D. (Zach Braff) and Elliott (Sarah Chalke) attempting platonic cohabitation, and Dr. Cox (John C. McGinley) getting a visit from his born-again sister, played by Curb Your Enthusiasm's Cheryl Hines.


Dancing with the Stars
Premiere: Thursday, Jan. 5, 8 pm/ET, ABC
The rug-cutting phenom of last summer just won't be the same without Mr. Peterman onboard, but that won't stop it from boldly going forward with a new roster of pro-am hoofers, including expert tanner George Hamilton, Academy Award winner Tatum O'Neal, soap superstar Lisa Rinna, wrestling diva Stacy Keibler and NFL legend Jerry Rice. (The weekly results show will air Fridays at 8 pm/ET beginning Jan. 6.)

Jake in Progress
Premiere: Monday, Jan. 9, 9:30 pm/ET, ABC
John Stamos is back as a hotshot publicist to the stars who's not nearly as slick in controlling the twists and turns of his single-guy life. The new season brings a new friend (played by Dondre Whitfield), an old flame (Charlotte Ross from NYPD Blue) and more comically wrought self-realization.

The Bachelor
Premiere: Monday, Jan. 9, 10 pm/ET, ABC
This time around, it'll be Mr. Travis Stork on the matrimonial block. Sorry, make that Dr. Stork. And in a first for this reality series, which features 25 single ladies competing for the bachelor's attention, the action will be based overseas in Paris. The dates will include a boat cruise on the Seine, an overnight stay in the Swiss Alps and a very special evening atop the Eiffel Tower. Ooh la la!

The Shield
Premiere: Tuesday, Jan. 10, 10 pm/ET, FX
Captain Rawling (Glenn Close) is gone, but ethically challenged rogue cop Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis) is back and badder than ever. For his fifth season, he and his rough-and-tumble Strike Team just might face their toughest opponent yet: an Internal Affairs detective played by new cast member Forest Whitaker.

Beauty and the Geek
Premiere: Thursday, Jan. 12, 9 pm/ET, WB
Summer's "social experiment," coproduced by Ashton Kutcher, gets a sophomore season as a new group of academically adept guys are paired with aesthetically endowed gals to compete for the $250,000 grand prize. New challenges will include interior decorating (for the geeks) and assembling a computer (for the beauties).

Stargate SG-1
Premiere: Friday, Jan. 6, 8 pm/ET, Sci Fi
Picking up where last season's cliff-hanging finale left off, the Stargate Command team, led by General Landry (Beau Bridges) and Major Mitchell (Ben Browder), will need to split up to battle a plague unleashed on Earth by the alien race known as the Ori, whose allies include enemy leader Lou Gossett Jr.

Stargate Atlantis
Premiere: Friday, Jan. 6, 9 pm/ET, Sci Fi
With three members of the Atlantis team being held hostage by the alien Wraith, Dr. McKay (David Hewlett) will need to race against time to rescue them. But his risky plan may end up endangering his own life while leaving his friends stranded, outnumbered and outmatched.

Battlestar Galactica
Premiere: Friday, Jan. 6, 10 pm/ET, Sci Fi
When last we saw the Galactica, Adama (Edward James Olmos) and the Pegasus' Cain (Michelle Forbes) had each other's forces in their sights and their fingers on their respective triggers. Meanwhile, Helo (Tahmoh Penikett) and the chief (Aaron Douglas) were sentenced to death. Never mind the Cylon threat; will the last remaining humans kill each other before the enemy even gets to them? This season brings the answers, including a shocking new revelation as to how far Cain's willing to go to survive, and a battle that will change the face of the entire war.

Monk
Premiere: Friday, Jan. 13, 10 pm/ET, USA
Everybody's favorite obsessive-compulsive private detective (Tony Shalhoub) returns with more of his unique style of crime solving, ably abetted by his plucky personal assistant (Traylor Howard).

24
Premiere: Sunday, Jan. 15 & Monday, Jan. 16, 8 pm/ET, Fox
Beginning 18 months after he faked his death, the new season will find ex-CTU agent Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) working as an oil digger in California. But once again, he'll be forced to risk his life to defend the U.S. from international terrorists. Joining him will be his former colleagues (Carlos Bernard and Reiko Aylesworth), his ex-flame (Kim Raver), his daughter (Elisha Cuthbert), and new cast members Sean Astin and Peter Weller. (After its two-part premiere, the show will regularly air Mondays at 9 pm/ET.)

American Idol
Premiere: Tuesday, Jan. 17, 8 pm/ET, Fox
With acerbic British judge Simon Cowell contractually secured for another five seasons, the reality-TV phenomenon returns to showcase the best and worst young singers from across the nation. Joining Mr. Cowell once more will be host Ryan Seacrest and judges Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson. Let the caterwauling begin! (After its premiere, the show will also air Wednesdays at 8 pm/ET.)

The Surreal Life
Premiere: January, VH1, date/time to be announced
The Surreal Life mansion gets a set of new residents. Joining the madness this time around will be The Jeffersons' Sherman Helmsley, Smashmouth frontman Steve Harwell, Poison's C.C. Deville, Tawny Kitaen, famous sibling Alexis Arquette and Playboy TV's Andrea Lowell. Also joining the houseguests is a mystery reality-show hunk, and Brady mom Florence Henderson will be on hand to dole out therapy advice.

Nashville Star
Premiere: Tuesday, March 7, 10 pm/ET, USA
Country-music stars Wynonna and Cowboy Troy will host the fourth season of this reality competition series that searches for the best new, down-home singing sensation. Surprise celebrity judges will also be featured each week. At stake for the winner is a recording contract and a chance to follow in the best-selling footsteps (or boot steps) of past winners Buddy Jewell and Miranda Lambert.

The Sopranos
Premiere: March, HBO, date/time to be announced
After a nearly two-year hiatus, the mob scene returns for a much-anticipated sixth season. When last we left Tony Soprano, he had just killed his cousin and lifelong friend Tony B., moved back in with Carmela, discovered that his son wanted to be an event planner and narrowly escaped an FBI sting set to capture Johnny Sack. This season is sure to offer more thrills and kills.

Survivor
Premiere: March, CBS, date/time to be announced
While last season's Survivor: Guatemala had the surprise return of Stephenie and Bobby Jon, this 12th installment of "outwitting, outplaying and outlasting" promises some big twists of its own. Survivor: Exile Island returns to Panama, but this time to a small deserted island where teams will be chosen in a new way and individual players will be abandoned alone for periods of time. Let the starvation begin.

The Contender
Premiere: April, ESPN, date/time to be announced
Despite a less-than-knockout performance on NBC last season, this prizefighting reality series executive-produced by Mark Burnett and Sylvester Stallone comes back swinging on a new network with another crop of up-and-coming boxers battling for a shot to be king of the ring.

The Amazing Race
Premiere: To be announced, CBS
The reality show returns (we hope) to its Emmy-winning form after dawdling around North America for the family edition. This season will ditch the kids and go back to duos, who will set off on more globetrotting adventures and high-stakes challenges in the hopes of winning a million bucks.

Less than Perfect
Premiere: To be announced, ABC
When this sitcom, whose last new episode aired back in April, finally lands a spot on the network's schedule, fans will see how Claude (Sara Rue) adjusts to the ups and downs of her unpredictable dating life and to her new role as assistant to condescending news producer Lydia (Andrea Parker).

Written by Angel Cohn, Mike Flaherty, Daniel Manu and Michael Peck

#23
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If you have a show you watch and its not on Mortys "Hot Shows" list....start a thread and I will see what I can find. (no guarantees smile.gif )

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Courtesy of: TV GUIDE, ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

COMING SOON:
Bravo has announced a Feb. 22 premiere for the Project Runway spin-off Project Jay, chronicling Season 1 champ Jay McCarroll's adventures in the New York City fashion biz.... Sheryl Crow has joined the star-studded lineup of Animal Planet's Trail Mix, a Jan. 29 special about (and I quote) "the special bond between some of the music industry's hottest acts and their horses."... CMT has acquired rebroadcast rights to NBC's Three Wishes and has the option to license any new episodes produced beyond the 10 that have aired.

#24
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Courtesy of: TV GUIDE, ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

PILOT TALK I: NEW SHOW FOR LOST BOSS:
The Big Four announced a flurry of pilot orders on Wednesday, offering a possible glimpse at the fall 2006 season. ABC gave the nod to Six Degrees, a drama about the intertwined lives of a group of strangers (sound familiar?), to be executive-produced by (here's a clue) Lost cocreator J.J. Abrams. CBS ordered Jericho, which chronicles the chaos that occurs in a small town isolated from the rest of the world by a nuclear disaster, and Orpheus, about a young man whose girlfriend is immersed in a cult. NBC gave the green light to Crossing Jordan creator Tim Kring's Heroes, in which seemingly everyday people realize they have superpowers, and Seeing Red, about a cop who gets help from dead crime victims. Fox's Faceless, meanwhile, finds a federal prosecutor going undercover as a criminal to bring down an underworld organization. My TiVo is already giddy.

PILOT TALK II: SEALED WITH A KISS STAR: Among the new series revealed to be in production at other networks: KISS rocker Gene Simmons, his real-life honey, Playmate Shannon Tweed, and their kids will front Gene Simmons' Family Jewels, a new reality series from A&E, which is also in development on shows centered around Cheers alum George Wendt and champion drag-racer John Force, and USA Network has ordered the comedy-drama Underfunded, starring Reno 911!'s Mather Zickel as a "superagent" for the Canadian Secret Service.

#25
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Courtesy of: TV GUIDE, ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

ABC BUMPS EMILY, JAKE AND HOPE:
ABC apparently found a reason why not, deciding to bump Heather Graham's just-debuted Emily's Reasons Why Not, as well as John Stamos' own ratings-anemic series, Jake in Progress, from the schedule this Monday in favor of an encore of The Bachelor's season premiere. Both comedies are expected to return Jan. 23. Also, it's an unlucky Friday the 13th for Hope & Faith, which has been benched to expand the Dancing with the Stars results show to a full, overblown hour. Speaking of which, if Master P isn't gone by 8:59 pm, I smell shark.

#26
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Courtesy of: TV GUIDE, ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

FOX ENDS '70S, MALCOLM:
The '70s are over and Malcolm is no longer in the middle, but nearing the end. That's the word from Fox, which announced on Tuesday that it's bidding adieu to two long-running comedies. That '70s Show will air its series finale (and 200th episode) on May 18, while Malcolm in the Middle (rejoining the Sunday lineup starting Jan. 29) will serve up its swan song-150th eppy on May 14. Also from Fox: Prison Break (yeah, I almost forgot about it, too) will return March 13 with a much-needed recap show, then deliver nine consecutive new episodes starting March 20; The Bernie Mac Show starts offering double-episodes on Jan. 20; Bones moves to Wednesdays-at-8 as of March 8; and the new comedies Free Ride and The Loop will have special previews on March 1 and 8, before settling into their official time slots on March 12 and 16.

ABC HALTS NEW SERIES: ABC has halted production on Heather Graham's Emily's Reasons Why Not, which premiered last week to so-so ratings and was quickly yanked from this week's schedule in favor of a repeat of The Bachelor. "It's a shame," exec producer Gavin Polone tells Variety. "I can't fault ABC, though. They promoted it like crazy and when the audience stays away... quick decisions are made. That's the television business."

ROCK ON: Per Variety, CBS has given the green light to a second season of Rock Star, the reality contest that, in its freshman outing, sought a new lead singer for INXS. Although the network is releasing few details about the follow-up's premise including whether or not it will even have a tie-in to a real band it has been confirmed that Dave Navarro and Brooke Burke will return as hosts.

SOPRANOS WILL SLEEP WITH THE FISHES: Series creator David Chase has confirmed that the forthcoming sixth season of The Sopranos to air in two batches will be the HBO crime drama's last. "There will be these 12 [episodes, which start airing in March] and then another eight [premiering in January 2007], and that will be the end," he says. Among the guest stars announced for the final flurry are Hal Holbrook (as a scientist involved with the mob), Ben Kingsley (as himself) and ER alumna Julianna Margulies as a real-estate agent.

#27
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Courtesy of: TV GUIDE, ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

ABC SHOWS NO FAITH:
On the heels of reports that ABC has halted production on the Emily's Reasons Why Not, which will be kept off the air for at least another two weeks (as will Jake in Progress), comes word that Hope & Faith will remain on hiatus through February sweeps to make room on Friday for the refrigerator-sized Master P a permanently expanded Dancing with the Stars results show.

#28
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Thanks Dade, at least they are coming back in February !!!!

#29
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Courtesy of: TV GUIDE, ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

ARCADIA CUTIE HAS CLASS:
Jason Ritter, aka the late John Ritter's son and Joan of Arcadia's big brother, has joined the cast of the CBS comedy pilot The Class, in which half a dozen friends from the third grade are reunited at a party (thrown by Ritter's Ethan), then see their lives continue to intersect.

IN OTHER PILOT NEWS...: ABC has given the green light to a trio of dramas and one comedy: Sixty-Minute Man, about a suburban dad who comes to believe he figures into a massive conspiracy; Day Break, an action-thriller concerning a framed cop on the run; the sudser Brothers & Sisters; and Our Thirties, a laffer about friends of a certain age living in San Fran. Cool, TV needs more trolleys.

#30
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Courtesy of: TV GUIDE, ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

JAG STAR IS THE MAN:
JAG alum David James Elliott has been tapped to star in Sixty-Minute Man, an ABC drama pilot about a family man who, unable to recall hourlong chunks of his days, begins to suspect he is part of a national conspiracy. Hey, as long as those missing hours weren't spent cozying up to Catherine Bell, I don't see the problem.

IN OTHER PILOT NEWS...: CBS ordered a drama from CSI exec producer Carol Mendelsohn about legal associates working under a ruthless managing partner, and a family-based comedy, The Angriest Man in Suburbia.... ABC picked up Men in Trees (cheated-on lady shrink moves to Alaska, meets many available men, but no Rob Morrow), The Traveler (two pals on the run from rogue government spooks) and a Housewives-esque take on women at a law firm.... Fox ordered the annoyingly titled laffers If You Lived Here, You'd Be Home by Now (wacky people inhabit a temporary housing complex) and The Adventures of Big Handsome Guy and His Little Friend (about a big handsome guy and his little friend, and no, that's not a euphemism).

...................................................
(Where do they get some of these names?)

#31
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Courtesy of: ZAP2IT

NBC Shakes Up Post-Olympic Schedule


Sunday, January 22, 2006
11:13 AM PT

The NBC schedule that comes out of the Winter Olympics next month will look a good deal different from the one the network has used thus far this season.

Three new series, plus a new "Apprentice" and a weekly edition of the surprise hit game show "Deal or No Deal," will join the Peacock's lineup starting Monday, Feb. 27, the day after the Olympics end. The biggest changes come on Monday, with "Deal or No Deal" and "The Apprentice" taking up the first two hours of the night, and Friday, which gets a relocated "Las Vegas" at 9 p.m. ET at the new Dick Wolf drama "Conviction" at 10.

Additionally, "Law & Order" will move out of the 10 p.m. Wednesday spot, its home seemingly since time immemorial, to make room for the new series "Heist." "L&O" will slide back to 9 p.m. for the remainder of the season, where it will have to square off against extremely tough competition in the "American Idol" results show on FOX, ABC's "Lost" and CBS' "Criminal Minds."

"We are not going to slip quietly into spring," NBC Entertainment president Kevin Reilly says. "With these exciting new shows in our reconfigured schedule, we will be very competitive -- and given the promotional momentum of the Olympics, we can give these promising shows the launch they deserve."
"Deal or No Deal" will lead off the post-Olympic schedule with a week of nightly runs on Feb. 27. Following that, it will air weekly at 8 p.m. Mondays starting March 6 ("Surface" ends its season prior to the Olympics). The fifth installment of "The Apprentice" makes the move to Monday as well, while "Medium" stays put at 10.

With "The Apprentice" moving to Mondays, NBC has shipped "Las Vegas" to Friday with the hope of reinvigorating a night it used to dominate but has let slide in recent seasons. It will lead into "Conviction," which follows the professional and personal lives of young assistant district attorneys in New York. (The edition of "Dateline" that once aired on Friday moves to Saturdays.)

Finally, "The Office" will end its season at the end of March to allow star Steve Carell to head to work on the movie "Evan Almighty" for NBC sibling Universal Pictures. "Teachers," a comedy about middle-school teachers from "Scrubs" writer-producer Matt Tarses, will fill that spot for six weeks beginning April 6.

Here's a rundown of the schedule changes:

Monday

8 p.m. "Deal or No Deal" (nightly Feb. 27-March 3, weekly starting March 6)
9 p.m. "The Apprentice 5" (premieres Feb. 27)

Wednesday

9 p.m. "Law & Order" (new time period beginning March 22)
10 p.m. "Heist" (premieres March 22)

Thursday

9:30 p.m. "Teachers" (premieres April 6)

Friday

9 p.m. "Las Vegas" (new time period beginning March 3)
10 p.m. "Conviction" (premieres March 3)


#32
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'Earl,' 'Office' Get Early Calls for Fall


Sunday, January 22, 2006
12:34 PM PT



Seeking a new comedy tentpole now that the last vestige of its 1990s "Must See" lineup is headed into the sunset, NBC has picked up two of its newest shows for next season.

Both "My Name Is Earl" and "The Office" will return for 22 episodes in the 2006-07 season, ensuring that the network will have a couple of half-hour building blocks as it tries to regain the ratings it's lost over the past couple years. The pickups come on the heels of the two series' move from Tuesday to Thursday without suffering any appreciable drop in ratings.

"The strength of the ratings and performance and the quality of these two shows make this a very easy decision," NBC head Kevin Reilly says. "We are confident that these comedies will only continue to increase in popularity."

"Earl" is the top-rated new show and top comedy of the season among adults 18-49, drawing 12 million viewers per week and a 5.3 rating in the 18-49 demographic NBC uses to measure success. It was up for two Golden Globes earlier this week.

"The Office," meanwhile, has earned some of its best-ever ratings since moving with "Earl" to Thursday nights earlier this month. The show draws about 8 million viewers per week, many of them in the coveted "upscale" category of homes with incomes above $100,000. Star Steve Carell won a Golden Globe Monday for his performance as clueless boss Michael Scott.

The news comes on the same day that NBC made it official that "Will & Grace" would end its eight-season run in May.

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Summer Yields 'Windfall' of 'Treasure' for NBC


Sunday, January 22, 2006
11:06 AM PT



As the temperatures start rising in June and July, NBC plans to have viewers singing, "Summer days, drifting away, to uh-oh those summer nights."

On Sunday (Jan. 22) morning, the Peacock network set out its plans to fill the summer months with original programming, mixing in both new drama and a variety of alternative offerings.

NBC has saved the midseason drama "Windfall" for a summer slot. The FOX transplant focuses on a group of 20 friends who split a $386 lottery prize and are surprised to discover that instant wealth doesn't necessarily bring instant happiness. Luke Perry ("Beverly Hills, 90210"), Jason Gedrick ("Boomtown"), Lana Parrilla ("Boomtown"), Sarah Wynter ("24"), D.J. Cotrona ("Skin"), Jon Foster ("The Door in the Floor"), Alice Greczyn ("The Dukes of Hazzard") and Jaclyn DeSantis ("Road Trip") star in the series, executive produced Laurie McCarthy ("CSI: Miami").

The possibility of vast wealth also drives the alternative series "Treasure Hunters," which is described as a "fast-paced, adventure-reality series." Teams face intellectual and physical challenges as they travel to historically significant locations on a quest for a mysterious treasure.

In addition, as was previously reported, NBC will resurrect "Last Comic Standing" in the summer months, more than a year after the network nearly killed the reality franchise by fasttracking a third installment in the fall of 2004.

"We want people to know that NBC is not taking the summer off, and in fact, we are offering an engaging new drama in 'Windfall,' a riveting new competition series in 'Treasure Hunters' and the return of the audience favorite 'Last Comic Standing,'" says NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly.

In addition to those shows, Reilly said that NBC will be joining the multi-network rush toward English-language telenovelas, working with corporate sibling Univision on a fresh version of "Body of Desire."

Specific premiere dates and time slots are yet to be announced.

#33
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A GRAHAM SHAME:
Why was ABC so quick to say "not" to Emily's Reasons Why Not, the heavily hyped and Heather Graham-fronted comedy that it pulled after only a single low-rated airing? Network entertainment president Stephen McPherson explained to reporters on Saturday: "Once we saw it was not launching, we felt like unfortunately it was not going to get better and we had to make a change." Still, you don't diss Rollergirl like that. You just don't.

PILOT TALK: In the latest round of pilot pickups, ABC has green-lit October Road, about a screenwriter who returns to his hometown to teach at a local university, and Enemies, in which two childhood best friends now find themselves on very opposite sides of the law. Meanwhile, Fox OK'd The 12th Man, inspired by Paul Shirley's blog about being a so-so NBA player, and Primary, about a pair of hostage negotiators in love. (Boy, those two must have some prolonged fights: "Please," she says via megaphone, "slowly put the cap on the toothpaste, then come out of the bathroom.")

#34
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TNT Gets 'Saved' with Scott


Monday, January 23, 2006
11:54 AM PT


TNT has added another series to its roster of originals, picking up the drama "Saved" for a 13-episode run due to start in the summer.

The show stars Tom Everett Scott ("Philly") as a med-school dropout with a gambling problem who works as a paramedic in Portland, Ore. The series will follow his character, Wyatt Cole, as he handles grueling 24-hour shifts on the job and relationships outside work. The show could become a companion piece to "The Closer," which will open its second season in June.

"'Saved' is a character-driven procedural drama featuring a tough, somewhat flawed, three-dimensional central character trying to make it in an ever-complicated world," TNT's Michael Wright says. "The show is indicative of TNT's continued commitment to creating top-notch dramatic original programming."


The cast also includes Elizabeth Reaser ("The Family Stone") as Wyatt's ex-girlfriend, a medical resident, and Omari Hardwick ("Beauty Shop"), Michael McMillian ("What I Like About You") and Tracy Vilar ("Full Frontal").
David Manson (FX's "Thief," "John Doe") created the series and will executive produce with David Nevins of Imagine TV.

"Saved" will be Scott's first series since "Philly" aired on ABC in 2001-02 (he also did voice-over work for The WB's short-lived "Do Over" the following season). His other credits include a recurring part on "ER," "The $treet" and the feature films "That Thing You Do!" and "Boiler Room."

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'12th Man' Pilot Off the Bench at FOX

Monday, January 23, 2006
11:27 AM PT

He stands 6-foot-10, and he's scored a total of 33 points in a three-year NBA career. And soon, a version of his life will become a comedy pilot for FOX.

He is Paul Shirley, a marginal pro baller whose ESPN.com blog "My So-Called NBA Career" has been optioned for development into a single-camera comedy at FOX in the latest round of pilot acquisitions. FOX has also ordered "Primary," a drama about hostage negotiators, while ABC has given the go-ahead to two dramas, "October Road" and "Enemies."

Shirley's chronicle of his itinerant life as an end-of-the-bench player -- he's played on 11 pro teams, including three NBA clubs, in this country and overseas in the past four years -- will be the basis for "The 12th Man," the showbiz trade papers report. Dan Fogelman ("Like Family") will write and executive produce the pilot with director Tim Story ("Fantastic Four"). Shirley will serve as a producer.

"Primary" follows partners on a hostage-negotiation team who also are becoming partners off the job, making both things more difficult. Craig Silverstein ("The Dead Zone," "The Inside") is writing and executive producing. Both FOX projects come from corporate sibling 20th Century Fox TV.
At ABC, "Enemies" follows two childhood friends who now are, as the title states, enemies -- one's a cop and the other is a criminal. Sean Bailey ("Project Greenlight," "Push, Nevada") will write and executive produce through his company, LivePlanet, and Touchstone TV (which like ABC is part of Disney).

Finally, "October Road" will follow a screenwriter who moves back to his hometown to teach at a college and reconnects with the people he used to know. The Touchstone drama was written by Scott Rosenberg ("High Fidelity," "Going to California") and "Alias" veterans Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec. All three with executive produce with pilot director Gary Fleder ("Runaway Jury," "Blind Justice").

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WITHOUT A PRAYER:
Tuesday brought news of not one, not two, but a holy trinity of shelved series. Despite a riveting cameo by TV Guide's own former Party Boy, Daniel R. Coleridge, TNT has canceled Wanted, while ABC has brought Jake in Progress to a halt. (Think John Stamos has called ER yet to let them know he's available? Two words for you: Ask Ausiello.) Lastly, NBC has slammed shut The Book of Daniel, "due to many reasons," series creator Jack Kenny reports in a message to fans at NBC.com. Now, before the American Family Association gets all full of itself, their efforts had little to do with Daniel's demise, a reliable source tells us; rather, the ratings were just sinfully bad.

#36
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PILOT TALK:
Per the Hollywood Reporter, film cutie Minnie Driver will star opposite Eddie Izzard in the FX drama Lowlife, in which they will play traveling husband-and-wife con artists who decide to settle down in suburbia with their three kids.... Current How I Met Your Mother guest star Ashley Williams will play an over-the-hill rock star's manager's assistant in the ABC comedy Him and Us.... Curb Your Enthusiasm's Jeff Garlin is developing a "Jack Benny-style" variety show for TBS, says Variety.... Joan of Arcadia creator Barbara Hall has earned the green light from CBS for the comic-book adaptation Ultra, about a single-gal superhero.

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SHORT CUTS: Cartoon Network has renewed the controversial animated series The Boondocks for a 20-episode second season.... The Pussycat Dolls will (yet again) sing "Don't Cha" as well as perform their single "Sway" during the Friday-night results show of ABC's Dirty Dancing with the Stars.... Former U.S. education secretary William Bennett has joined CNN as a contributor.... According to Jack Myers' MediaVillage.com, the odds are good that Dish Network will ultimately come to terms with Lifetime, whose channels it dropped on Jan. 1, if only because of the cabler's dominance with female viewers.

#37
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PILOT TALK:
Brokeback Mountain scribes Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana are developing Sheriff Luke, an ABC drama likely for fall 2007 about a widowed lawman in a small Midwestern town.... Jennifer Love Hewitt is teaming with Oxygen to exec-produce Angry Little Girls, an animated series based on the book and website of the same name, says Variety.... Ron Rifkin has joined the cast of ABC's family sudser Brothers & Sisters, per the Hollywood Reporter.

#38
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ABC Sets Premiere for 'Sons & Daughters'


Friday, January 27, 2006
01:42 PM PT


ABC has found a home for its midseason comedy "Sons & Daughters," giving it a home on the network's Tuesday-night schedule starting in March.

The show, a scripted-improv hybrid created by Fred Goss (Bravo's "Significant Others") and Nick Holly, will debut at 9 p.m. ET Tuesday, March 7 with back-to-back episodes. It will double-run in that spot for six weeks, giving "Commander In Chief" a break so the drama can finish its season with a run of new episodes.

"I love this show," ABC Entertainment President Stephen McPherson says. "Nick and Fred have created a provocative, hilarious, emotional, real look at that dysfunctional joyride we know and love called family."


The show centers on Cameron Walker (Goss), a middle-class guy pulled in a number of different directions by his extended family. The show's large cast also includes Gillian Vigman ("MADtv"), Max Gail ("Barney Miller"), Dee Wallace ("E.T.," "The Perfect Husband"), Jerry Lambert ("44 Minutes"), Alison Quinn, Amanda Walsh and Desmond Harrington ("Taken," "Dragnet").

"Sons & Daughters" will face some formidable competition in its timeslot. Tuesday at 9 is also home to FOX's "House" and "The Amazing Race" on CBS. NBC has its own doubled-up comedy, "Scrubs," in the time period as well.

#39
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ABC SEEKS TV-SIZED BRANGELINA:
ABC is developing a series based on Mr. & Mrs. Smith, the big-screen thriller that helped introduce Brad Pitt to Angelina Jolie (and, in turn, Jennifer Aniston to much woe, and the rest of us in existence to way too much tired gossip). The pilot likely would be ready in time for mid-season 2006-2007 or fall 2007 consideration.

READY, SET...: In other pilot news, Fox is developing More, Patience, a half-hour laffer about a New York psychiatrist.... NBC is doing Community Service, where a Trump-like real-estate titan is forced to do good in a small town.... CBS has three comedies and a drama in the pipeline, including Welcome to the Jungle Gym (working mom and her gal pals raise kids) and Shark (in which a lawyer-to-the-stars becomes a prosecutor).

... GO!: Meanwhile, even better news for a potty-mouthed babe and a half-man, half-vampire. Comedy Central has ordered six episodes of The Sarah Silverman Program, set to premiere in the summer, while Spike TV has rung up 13 hours of its first-ever scripted series, Blade, based on the Marvel superhero. Filling Wesley Snipes' shoes will be Kirk "Sticky" Jones. (Nope, not gonna ask.)


CULT IS CW'S FIRST CUT: Although its pickup was ordered two weeks ago by WB, the drama pilot Cult, starring Matthew Bomer (Tru Calling), is no longer moving forward with production, one of the first "casualties" of the announced WB-UPN merge into CW.

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NBC Orders Supernatural Pilot

12:00 AM, 30-JANUARY-06

Conan O'Brien's production company has landed a pilot at NBC about a man who gets a second shot at life, Variety reported. CBS, meanwhile, picked up what it called an Indiana Jones-type drama pilot.

O'Brien's Conaco, along with NBC Universal TV Studio, is behind an as-yet-untitled hourlong drama, formerly titled The Haskett Chronicles, from writer Willie Reale (Keen Eddie).

The potential series revolves around a politician who is murdered but is given a chance to come back to the physical world in order to save his soul. This time, he's at a much lower stage in life.

Reale scored two Tony Award nominations in 2003 for A Year With Frog and Toad. He will executive-produce with O'Brien, Jeff Ross, A.J. Morewitz and David Kissinger, the trade paper reported. NBC and NBC Universal TV Studio are both owned by NBC Universal, which also owns SCIFI.COM.

CBS, meanwhile, ordered the pilot Under Pressure, which centers on a "modern-day Indiana Jones" who takes on mysteries from the past and the present.

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ABC Makes 'Emergency' Contact


Monday, January 30, 2006
10:41 AM PT

With its two big midseason comedy bets mothballed and a looming hole in its schedule next fall, ABC has decided to get an early start on its fall pickups.

The network has given a six-episode order to a comedy called "In Case of Emergency," which comes from "According to Jim" writer/producer Howard J. Morris. The network has also asked for additional scripts, the showbiz trade papers report.

The show will center on four former high school friends, now in their 30s. A calamity brings them back together, and they discover that their lives haven't quite worked out as they envisioned. The show's title refers to the emergency contact numbers on medical and insurance forms.

Morris, who's also worked on "Home Improvement" and "My Wife and Kids," is writing the pilot script and will executive produce with Emile Levisetti, an exec producer of ABC's "Hope & Faith."
ABC will have a couple extra hours of primetime to program in the fall, when "Monday Night Football" migrates to its fellow Disney-owned network ESPN. The network was hoping that some of that time might be filled with "Emily's Reasons Why Not" and "Jake in Progress," which were to fill the 9 p.m. hour following football season this year.

That notion lasted all of one week. "Emily's Reasons" has been cancelled, and while there's a chance "Jake in Progress" might return, its history suggests it's unlikely to deliver big ratings.

#40
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FOX LOADS FOR BEAR:
Fox has picked up the pilots Til Death (a comedy about newlyweds living next door to a cynical long-married couple) and Beyond (a thriller about NASA's new race to space), and ordered Bash, a sketch-comedy/celebrity-roast hybrid to feature such guests as Johnny Knoxville, Jenny McCarthy and Bob Saget. The net also has inked Hustle & Flow's Anthony Anderson and Undeclared's Jay Baruchel to talent deals.

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ABC Slots Four Midseason Shows; 'Alias' MIA


Wednesday, February 01, 2006
05:38 PM PT

ABC will be performing some scheduling gymnastics to get the remainder of its large midseason slate on the air, with four new series joining the previously slated "Sons & Daughters" on the network in March and April.

Left out of the mix, however, is "Alias," which was originally scheduled to return in March for its final episodes but is now a schedule orphan.

First up among the new shows is the unscripted series "Miracle Workers," which debuts at 10 p.m. ET Monday, March 6, a week after "The Bachelor: Paris" concludes its season. A feel-good show in the vein of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," the series follows a team of doctors and nurses who will help people overcome overwhelming medical issues.

"Miracle Workers" will air for four weeks before giving way to the drama "What About Brian," which stars "7th Heaven" alum Barry Watson as a single guy in his 30s whose friends are all married or about to be. Complicating matters, he has a massive crush on his best friend's (Matthew Davis, "Legally Blonde") fiancee (Sarah Lancaster, "Everwood").

"Brian" will premiere on Sunday, April 2, where it will have the advantage of "Desperate Housewives" as a lead-in, before moving to its Monday home the following night. ABC will also return "Supernanny" to Mondays at 9 p.m. March 6.

Thursday, March 16 will bring the two-hour debut of "American Inventor," a series executive produced by "American Idol's" Simon Cowell. The show will give would-be Edisons a chance to show off their ideas to viewers and a panel of judges, with the winner getting a chance to bring his or her invention to consumers.

The show will settle in at 9 p.m. Thursdays on March 23. Also that night, a series of four "Home Edition" specials featuring the show's team helping disaster victims on the Gulf Coast will debut in the 8 p.m. hour. With "Primetime" remaining at 10, "Alias" has no place to go for the remainder of its final season. An ABC rep couldn't be reached Wednesday to discuss where the show might land.

ABC's final midseason entry is "The Evidence," a crime procedural from "ER" executive producer John Wells that debuts at 10 p.m. Wednesday, March 22 ("Invasion" will go on hiatus and return in April to finish its season). The show follows two San Francisco detectives (Orlando Jones and Rob Estes) who reconstruct crimes based on the evidence collected at the scene.

ABC previously announced that "Sons & Daughters" will take "Commander In Chief's" Tuesday spot for six weeks starting March 7. "Chief" will return April 18.




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